WHO has declared a pandemic as COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve in several countries. India has been facing the impact of the outbreak since the past few weeks and is currently at a crucial juncture. The Government is taking strong measures to control the situation. However, globally all industries are facing severe impact of the crisis. Retail sales of non-food items have dropped drastically. Once the situation normalises, retail industry could still take a few months to recover from it because the supply chain has also been impacted. Further, the ripple down effect of the ongoing months will be felt throughout the year. An initial assessment by BCG estimates that the industry could face negative impact for the next 9 months.

The industry will require support from the Government and a stimulus package for both Manufacturing and Retail sectors, like many other European and American countries. All the stakeholders should be involved along with the Government’s COVID-19 Task Force in the process of designing the package. We strongly hope that the situation in India is normalised over the next couple of weeks and we can start moving towards the path to recovery.

Dr. N. Mohan is Executive Director & CEO, Clarks India

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